Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Vegan Day at the Movies

Growing up, one of my favorite family activities was going to the movies. I have the best memory of being scared out of my wits at Jurassic Park, to the point where I flung a bucket of popcorn out of my lap, and all over the floor (much belated apologies to the Century Theaters’ staff). Food has always been an important part of my movie-going experience, and that hasn't changed since I became vegan. Hot dogs, Junior Mints, popcorn and nachos are the staples of cineplexes across the country which makes it hard to find a suitable snack. Amazingly, the nacho cheese that comes sealed in a tub is actually made with real cheese, but the butter on your popcorn is (often) vegan! However, popcorn does not a meal make, so I like to bring a bag full of goodies.

The 7:00 showing at the theater demands dinner. You can always go the standard route with a foil wrapped vegan dog, but if you’re going to go the trouble of sneaking in food, you might as well raise the bar. When faced with this situation recently, I opted for this bright, fresh noodle salad. Delicious at room temperature, easily transported, and accompanied by chocolate covered pretzels, this dish makes a perfect movie meal!

Soba Noodle Salad with Snow Peas
adapted from Fresh & Fast Vegetarian
by Marie Simmons

1 1/2 cups snow peas, sliced diagonally in half
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
12 oz soba noodles
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
4 green onions, sliced into thin diagonals
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the snow peas and 1 teaspoon salt to the pan, and cook for one minute more. Drain the noodles and snow peas, and rinse with cold water. Transfer the contents of the pan to a bowl, and toss with the sesame oil.

In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Combine the noodles, snow peas, carrots, and cucumber in a bowl, and toss with the dressing. Top with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve cold or at room temperature.